Innovative, Optimized, Driving Growth

June 22, 2023

Looking ahead to the coming proliferation of content, new buying patterns, and a cookieless future, marketers face immense pressure to continuously adapt:

To illustrate how marketing executives can harness new ways to engage, measure, and optimize their campaigns, Reuters Events have just launched our latest marketing report – ‘Strategic Marketing 2023: Innovative, Optimized, Driving Growth.’

Informed by insights from a recent gathering of CMOs and senior marketing leaders from brands such as Logitech, MAC Cosmetics, eBay, Petco, Qualcomm, and many more, this report shares the latest industry trends, challenges, and solutions.

With four key discussion points, the report will cover how to: 

  • Leverage real-time data while embracing creative to produce contextually relevant content
  • Develop and refine storytelling strategies by evoking an emotive response to your brand
  • Align your brand purpose with the company’s mission, values, and long-term goals
  • Leverage user-generated content and influencer marketing to drive sales and customer engagement

Section 1: Measurement, Optimization & Sustainability

By the end of 2023, as Google catches up with Apple in safeguarding consumer privacy, the digital tools and strategies marketers have been using for decades will be redundant. With the deprecation of third-party cookies, the ability to tailor ads will become increasingly difficult.

As a result, eBay’s Global Chief Marketing Officer, Adrian Fung will be capitalizing on their first-party data and “leaning into generative AI to personalize things, not at a segment level, but to people individually.”

Yet, for the brands falling short with their first-party stores, the ability to continue to personalize at scale and home in on data-driven creativity remains a challenge.

At Kroger, creatives are leading the charge by embracing automation, enabling testing, and incorporating results into the creative loop, notes their Head of Marketing, Tom Duncan.

Section 2: Storytelling and Science: The Ultimate Powers

“When you try to tell your authentic story without giving the power of your brand to influencers or other people, it’s not really authentic,” says Ryan Ostrom, EVP, Chief Marketing Officer, Jack in Box.

In 2023, strategic marketing is evolving into the perfect blend of art and science that puts the customer at the center and has efficient and effective content as an essential ingredient.

From startups to established brands, the age-old art of storytelling is a tried and tested format. Done well, it can build trust, engage new audiences, communicate brand identity, raise brand awareness, and connect authentically with a community.

On high-level campaigns, such as Sony’s recent campaign with Sizzer, Maya Wasserman, Head of Marketing, Personal Entertainment & Home Entertainment, Sony Electronics, said, “We work together on the creative in a way that authentically tells a story”. Sony is also building a ground-up ambassador program of “true authentic customers” who share their experience with the brand, which “is just as important”. In keeping with the view that employees are customers too, Wasserman says shop-floor sales people are “really our best cheerleaders” and well placed to understand detractors.

Section 3: The Purposeful CMO

Never before has the Chief Marketing Officer been so needed, and nor has the role been more demanding. One important change, according to consultants KMPG, is that there is the need for strong relationships between marketing chiefs and the chief information officer (CIO).

They need to be up to speed with the latest marketing technology, and as comfortable with data as the creative. Speaking on a Day 2 panel, Sophie Bambuck, Chief Marketing Officer, The North Face, presented a more nuanced view. According to her, the CMO is not just a growth driver concerned only by performance and data. “We can be data informed, but we can also make decisions based on the consumer…” As she sees it, “data points have no emotions, but consumers do.”

CMOs must use consumer sentiment to unite the organization behind a clear sense of shared purpose and ultimately drive marketing as the growth engine of the business.

Section 4: Social Commerce: More Than Window Dressing

To say, “social media is the new storefront”, as Deloitte Global states, is no understatement. Predicted to surpass $1 trillion in sales globally in 2023, these numbers are fuelled by the spending habits of the two billion people expected to shop on a social media platform this year. Brands are looking towards user-generated content (UCG) to drive social commerce and reach the consumer in a whole new way.

When the Good American fashion brand launched in 2016, the brands co-founders Emma Grede and Khloé Kardashian used their clout on social media to attract the right ambassadors to model the fully inclusive fashion brand. Today, open casting happens annually, and in the last turnout, more than 30,000 people applied. Right from the start, UGC was a core strategy and that remains true today, said Patrick Buchanan, VP, Marketing, Good American.

In short, social commerce is a clear opportunity and one that fast-moving young brands are grasping.

In today’s dynamic landscape, marketers face immense pressure to continuously adapt. You need to stay relevant, showcase your value, and bring purpose to the heart of your organization.

The Reuters Events: Marketing Report report seeks to shed light on these issues and provide actionable insights to equip marketers with the tools to position themselves favorably in the current climate. If there is one takeaway from these conversations, it is that brand purpose defined by marketing must align with leadership and permeate through the entire organization.

If you’d like to learn more, you can access the full report here.